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404 Error Pages, One More Time

The design of 404 error pages is often overlooked and underestimated. However, designed carefully, these pages can make a random visitor stay on your website, take a look around and eventually find the information he or she was looking for in the first place. Effective 404 error pages communicate why a particular page couldn’t be displayed and what users can do next. A search box and list of useful resources (possibly related to the missing page) could be helpful in this case. [Content Care Nov/29/2016]

We’ve already covered the design of 404 error pages in previous posts. In them, we also covered some interesting and useful ideas for designing 404 pages. Now, it’s time for a fresh dose of 404-error inspiration. This article presents 50 more examples of beautiful and original 404 error designs. Some of them are beautiful but not user-friendly, others are user-friendly but not really beautiful. Please use these examples as a source of inspiration; hopefully, this showcase has something for everybody.

You may also want to take a look at the following related posts:

Also note that some examples used in this post were suggested by our Twitter followers: please follow us on Twitter4 to vote on which article gets published next, discuss new ideas, get fresh updates and suggest great ideas for our next posts. Thank you.

Beautiful 404 Error Pages Link

Cut & Tate claims that “Someone on the staff is to blame for this! Rest assured, the proper person will get the proper amount of blame and humiliation dealt to them.” Notice how well the search box is highlighted. Beautiful!

Creative 404 Error Page

Productplanner
Productplanner perfectly integrates its 404 error page in the overall branding of the website.

Creative 404 Error Page

Mundofox.com
A 404 error page with a not-so-eloquent Homer.

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Duoh.com
Probably one of the most colorful and abstract 404 error pages out there.

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Apartmenthomeliving.com
A quite unusual 404 error page from a website that helps people find apartments.

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Chrisglass.com
Chris takes his comrades on a trip, hunting for the right page.

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Huwshimi.com
On Huwshimi a ninja seems to have stolen a 404 error-page: “you must return when the moon has friends and the fox is borrowed”. Gorgeous!

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ilovetypography.com
A typographically beautiful (of course) 404 error page from ILoveTypography.com.

Creative 404 error page

Newspond
Newspond uses a very strange illustration on its 404 error page. The circle defines the limits of the website, and the small image at the top is a miniaturized Newspond logo. A click on the image leads to the home page of the website.

Creative 404 Error Page

Brightkit
“404 Fowl Not Found.” Brightkit shows a missing owl on a milk carton. Unusual and, therefore, memorable.

Creative 404 Error Page

jhuskisson.com

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Gog.com
“404: oh noes, there’s nothing in here.” (sent by @Chamb via Twitter)

Creative 404 Error Page

User-Friendly 404 Error Pages Link

RealMacSoftware.com
An excellent 404 error page, functionally speaking, that contains a site map of the website.

Creative 404 Error Page

InspirationBit
InspirationBit presents an overview of popular and recommended articles.

Creative 404 Error Page

45royale
This error page contains links to popular posts and a cool illustration of a pretty freaky monkey.

Creative 404 Error Page

Ma.gnolia.com

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Have Fun With 404! Link

Yes, fun! Because 404 also is a place where you can show your sense of humor. You have the opportunity, so use it well!

www.techkultura.com
On Pawel Opydo’s blog: “Golden Rule of the Code of the Samurai: If this isn’t the page you were looking for, you have to do Seppuku.”

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Abduzeedo
Abduzeedo suggests ideas for finding the right article and lists popular and recent blog posts as well as a tag cloud.

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Habrahabr
An illustrative image (sent by sabugao on Twitter).

Creative 404 Error Page

CSS Remix
This fellow is quite scared (sent by @dezignMusings on Twitter).

Creative 404 Error Page

Pattern Tap
Don’t get angry, and don’t cry. Pattern Tap will take on the burden of the missing page.

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New Yorker
The New Yorker magazine has been published since 1925, but it is definitely with it, with its own 404.

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Frye/Wiles
Frye/Wiles Creative Agency.

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Heinz
The 404 for the best-known ketchup.

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Chelmsford Library
OMG, Smashing Magazine is missing in the Chelmsford Public Library!

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Craigslist
An ASCII 404 error page from Craigslist.

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The Truth
Is this really the truth?

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Wulffmorgenthaler
Blame that weird beaver on Wulffmorgenthaler.

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Henrik Hedegaard
Henrik Hedegaard seems to like the Simpsons.

Creative 404 Error Page

NotaNiche
Refresh and see the next funny picture. A blog by Alexander Frison.

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Daze of Our Lives
“Whatever the Dickens a so-called “Error 404″ is I haven’t the foggiest idea, but one has occurred. You can’t trust this wretched technology, can you?”

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Limpfish
Wanted: a Web page.

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Orangecoat
“Despite that song in your step and sense of purpose, you’ve hit a little bump in the road. These things happen. We’re going to do our best to make sure you keep dancing in the right direction.” Orangecoat gives a 404 error mind map.

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Kochatelier Berlin
404 bread on the website of a cooking agency.

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Dawdle
Mario occasionally entered the wrong castle.

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CSS-Tricks
Chris Coyier takes a closer look at the code.

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Niki Brown
Niki Brown encourages her visitors to “Have no fear” and shows them a beautiful mouse illustration.

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Twitter
Twitter uses a minimalistic yet attractive 404 error page.

Creative 404 Error Page

Livadaru
Homer on the blog of Cristian Livadaru.

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ARTTHUG Studios
Homer again, this time at ARTTHUG Studios.

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Cubeecraft
Error Cubee (which you can download and make yourself) at Cubeecraft.

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d20 SRD
A brutal error at d20 SDR!

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HomeStar Runner
Oops! You had it coming at HomeStar Runner.

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Animation? Sure! Link

404 doesn’t only have to be about graphics. Below, you’ll find 404 examples with animation.

Mark Fennell
On his 404, Mark Fennell offers… a game!

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Project Euh
Project Euh? Just click and go to a random website.

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Total Insanity
Total Insanity shows us what insanity really means.

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Herr Nilsson
This 404 error page fetches 404 Tweets and displays them in real time (sent by eelay on Twitter).

Creative 404 Error Page

Cricket Feet
The 404 error page on Cricket Feet talks to you!

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Bluedaniel
Daniel Karcher’s film design studio.

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(al)

Footnotes Link

  1. 1 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2014/08/a-better-404-page/
  2. 2 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/06/effective-maintenance-pages-examples-and-best-practices/
  3. 3 https://www.smashingmagazine.com/2011/05/optimizing-error-pages-creating-opportunities-out-of-mistakes/
  4. 4 http://twitter.com/smashingmag

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Sylwia Besz is a Product Manager working on online and mobile products/services. Privately she's a blogger at In Web We Trust, geek and amateur photographer.

  1. 1

    These are awesome, most of the 404 pages I have seen don’t have anything on them. I am trying to create personalized ones to make people feel better and keep them on the site longer. Thanks for the great list and inspiration.

    1
  2. 2

    Great stuff, has inspired me to put more effort into the design of my 404 pages!

    1
  3. 3

    yeah real cool error´s !

    -1
  4. 4

    Some very cool error pages.
    I also think that most of the readers do not know what the number 404 means.

    Better to write an understandable text to inform the visitor what happend.

    1
  5. 5

    Very useful and entertaining, thanks!

    1
  6. 6

    One more time? You promise?

    0
  7. 7

    I’ve always been proud of the 404’s I do for my clients. One of my favorites is the one I did for the non-profit Amara Conservation (hope this isn’t construed as advertising or spamming).

    -1
  8. 8

    Nice list.

    0
  9. 9

    Martijn Vandenberghe

    January 29, 2009 9:19 am

    Where do you guys keep getting the inspiration to write about these things?! Great!

    0
  10. 10

    funny stuff

    0
  11. 11

    Great article, these ones are very enjoyable to read.

    0
  12. 12

    I love the brightkit and the fryewiles one :D

    -1
  13. 13

    Extremely creative!

    -1
  14. 14

    some 404 pages were really creative, while others were simply hilarious. nice list. btw, i like d “live preview” when submitting comments.

    -1
  15. 15

    Flicdelapolice

    January 29, 2009 9:39 am

    Awesome work. This just made me think that for 80% of readers “error 404” means nothing but still “error 404” is in good place.

    Would be better to delete this “error 404” thing and write in very good place “We couldn’t find what you are looking for, please search or browse sitemap”

    I’ll change right away my 404 pages.

    -1
  16. 16

    Enjoyed it so much…
    tnx!

    -1
  17. 17

    Kind of appropriate…..

    I’m trying to enter the desktop wallpaper calendar contest for February but my email is bouncing back with this error:
    :
    The users mailfolder is over the allowed quota (size). (#5.2.2)

    D’oh… I may be too late anyway :(

    -1
  18. 18

    Good list… Little elements like an attractive (yet functional!) 404 page help improve the experience for the end user.

    Pattern Tap also has a useful list of 404 pages.

    -1
  19. 19

    That reminds me I need to make a nicer 404 page. Man Homer seems to be pretty popular for this error.

    -1
  20. 20

    Great list… Thanks

    -1

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